How to Make Your Mac Idle Sleep After Different Times on Different Days

Your Mac can automatically enter a special low power mode called sleep. While your Mac is asleep it uses far less energy than when it is awake. Having your Mac sleep when not in use is much better than leaving it powered on constantly; you use less energy and that saves money on your electricity bill.

We have previously seen how Power Manager can make your Mac reliably sleep when it is left untouched. Let's look at how you can further improve this behaviour.

We are going to do something Mac OS X's Energy Saver can not. We are going to have the Mac sleep after different periods of inactivity depending on what day of the week it is.

During the week we want the Mac to sleep after twenty minutes of inactivity. Weekdays are when the Mac is used for work and we want to be able to read long documents on screen without needing to move the mouse to keep the Mac awake.

During the weekend the Mac is used less frequently and should sleep much more quickly after inactivity. We want the Mac to sleep after just five minutes of inactivity but only on Saturday and Sunday.

Create a Conditional Sleep After Inactivity Event

  1. Launch System Preferences and select Power Manager.
  2. Click Add…to create a new event.
    Click Add to create a new Power Manager event.
  3. Choose the template Power off after inactivity.
    Select the Power off after inactivity Power Manager task.
  4. Click Continue to the What and When step.
  5. Adjust the required period of inactivity to 20 minutes. Type 20 0 into the After how long inactive? field; the 20 is the minutes and 0represents the seconds.
    Adjust when the Power Manager event should be triggered.
  6. Continue to the Time Constraints step.
  7. Enable the The day of the week is: check box. Enable all the days except Saturday and Sunday.
    Adjust when the Power Manager event can be performed.
  8. Continuethrough the remaining steps until your event is created.
    Provide a note why this Power Manager is needed.
    Confirm the Power Manager event can be created.

With the steps above completed you have one half of your schedule ready. The Mac will now sleep after 20 minutes during the week.

The first Power Manager sleep after inactivity event is ready.

Repeat the steps above and create a second event with these settings:

  • Change the After how long inactive? to 5 minutes.
    Use a different trigger time for the second Power Manager event.
  • Change the days to only Saturday and Sunday.
    Use a different set of days for the second Power Manager event.

You will now have two events scheduled in Power Manager. One event will deal with inactivity triggered sleep during the week, and the second event will deal with sleep during the weekend.

Both Power Manager sleep events are ready and scheduled.

Supporting Multiple Events

Power Manager supports multiple inactivity triggered events. You can create more than one event that is triggered when your Mac becomes inactive. Each event can be triggered after different periods of inactivity.

Power Manager also supports conditions. If an event's conditions are not met, the event's actions will not be performed.

By combining the ability to support multiple inactivity triggered events with conditions, we have been able to create behaviour that is not possible with Mac OS X's Energy Saver.

We have created two sleep events that are triggered after different periods of inactivity, on different days of the week.

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Published by Graham Miln on